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Posted in the Laval Forum
Since: Sep 13
#1 Sep 2, 2013
Friday Asia Update: Top Five Stories for the Week of August 20, 2013
1. The SEC probes JPMorgan amid allegations that it hired Chinese princelings. The U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has begun an investigation into whether JPMorgan Chase hired the children of senior Chinese officials to help secure business in a now-defunct program called Sons and Daughters. The scrutiny began in Hong Kong and now has spread through the banks Asia offices; the bank has flagged more than 200 hires for review. JPMorgan has not yet been accused of any illegal acts, but they might have violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which forbids granting personal favors to government officials in exchange for business. One example included the son of Tang Shuangning, chairman of a state-run financial conglomerate, who was hired and retained even after other employees questioned his financial expertise.
2. Chinese government begins massive campaign against online rumormongering. The Chinese government wants citizens to adhere to the seven base lines of proper internet conduct and curb rumormongering online. After the Beijing Internet Conference last week, the government released seven base lines for proper Internet conduct. State-run media has released a flurry of op-eds and run prime-time TV spots about the issue [links in Chinese]. Multiple people have been arrested for spreading rumors through microblogging accounts, and yesterday, twenty-seven people were arrested for operating 312 microblogging accounts with millions of followers [Chinese]. Xinhua also released an op-ed saying that government officials should not be exempt from anti-rumormongering laws, giving four examples of recent rumors spread by officials.
3. Filipino businesswoman at center of corruption scandal detained. Janet Lim-Napoles, a wealthy Manila businesswoman, was arrested for the illegal detention of a witness who claims she diverted billions of pesos from poverty-reduction programs for her personal gain. The money was allegedly diverted to lawmakers and their associates in a corruption scandal that has sparked protests in Manila; more than 700,000 gathered on Monday to demand tougher action.
4. North Korea rescinds invitation to U.S. envoy. Pyongyang cancelled its invitation to U.S. diplomat Robert King, ambassador for North Korean human rights issues, who planned to travel to Pyongyang on Saturday in hopes of securing the release of ailing American missionary Kenneth Bae. Bae has been held in North Korea since November of last year, when he was detained for committing hostile acts. It is as yet unclear why Pyongyang cancelled the visit.
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